Water tankers prove a lifeline for India's parched villages
SEE ALSO :Water shortage hits hospitalThe tankers run seven days a week between March and June, when water is at its scarcest in India. The Asian giant's hot season has been particularly harsh this year, with temperatures rising above 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit) in Rajasthan state. Almost half of India -- an area home to more than 500 million people -- is facing drought-like conditions because of deficient pre-monsoon rainfall, according to the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD). In Shakar Pada village, water levels in the well are dangerously low, meaning villagers are relieved to see Dukre roll in, attach a hose to the back of the tanker and start to fill up everyone's vessels. "There has been a scarcity of water for the past month," Pramila Shewale tells AFP as she carries a freshly filled pot of water on her head to her home.
SEE ALSO :Shortage of water worsens in Kwale"If it wasn't for the water tankers we would have to rely on the well, which would be very difficult," the 25-year-old adds. Monsoon The village's 98 families survive on agriculture, growing mostly rice and vegetables that they sell at markets in nearby cities. During drought there is no water for agriculture or livestock. Falling groundwater levels and poor irrigation techniques mean they are overly reliant on India's June-to-September southwest monsoon, which provides the country with most of its annual rainfall. Three of the last five monsoons have been deficient and while the IMD is predicting a normal monsoon this year it is already a week late and that worries farmers.
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